Aubrey Trail Sentenced to Death for Murder, Dismemberment of Sydney Loofe

June 9, 2021, 2 p.m. ·

Aubrey Trail in Court Following Death Sentence
Aubrey Trail is wheeled out of the Saline County courtroom after his sentencing in June, 2021. (Photo by Justin Wan, Lincoln Journal Star, via media pool)

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Aubrey Trail, a convicted murderer, is headed for Nebraska’s death row. A three-judge panel in Saline County determined on Wednesday Trail should die by lethal injection for the killing of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe in 2017.

Trail, 54, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2019. He and his girlfriend Baily Boswell, also convicted of first-degree murder, lured Loofe to their apartment in Wilber, Nebraska, in 2017 where they killed and then dismembered the woman.

Four years after Loofe’s murder, Trail said in the courtroom that he wanted to tell the truth about the murder. Brought to court in a wheelchair, Trail asked Saline County District Court Judge Vicky Johnson for an opportunity to speak to the family of the woman he murdered.

Trail said Loofe had never willingly been involved in any of the sexual escapades Trail previously claimed to have been involved with during multiple, contradictory confessions in previous trials. On Wednesday, Trail said nearly everything he said in previous cases was a lie. He admitted to killing Loofe, and doing so because Loofe became uncomfortable with he and Boswell's lifestyle. He also claimed Boswell was innocent.

"I killed Sydney because of her reaction to what I told her and showed her," Trail said.

Now Nebraska's 12th death row inmate, Trail finished his statement by telling Johnson that he didn't care what happened to him in the sentencing.

For over an hour, Johnson read directly from the sentencing order written by the three-judge panel, laying out the evidence they felt proved Trail’s crime had warranted "exceptional depravity by ordinary standards of morality and intelligence." Comparing this case with others death penalty cases, the panel unanimously concluded the 2017 slaying of Loofe met the standards for the death penalty.

“Sydney Loofe was a helpless victim," Johnson said in her sentencing.

Trail’s defense attorneys, a father and son duo, Joe and Ben Murray, said they were not surprised with the judge's ruling. They were, however, surprised by their client's statements in court, admitting fully Loofe’s murder.

Required by Nebraska law, the Wednesday sentence requires an appeal be sent to the Nebraska Supreme Court. Trail’s accomplice and girlfriend Bailey Boswell, already found guilty for the same crime, faces her own sentencing hearing at the the end of the month, where she could the first woman in the state put on death row.

Editor's note: Bill Kelly also contributed to this report.